Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson, chairman of the Progressive Party, the country’s second-largest opposition party, said he is not surprised by the resignation of Left-Green MPs Atli Gíslason and Lilja Mósesdóttir from the government coalition.
Chairman of the Progressive Party Sigmundur Davíd Gunnlaugsson. Photo by Páll Kjartansson.
“I have heard of considerable dissatisfaction within the Left-Green for some time. Not only within the parliamentary party but also from the party’s grassroots because they feel the government has distanced itself from original goals and the party’s policy. Therefore, this isn’t all that surprising,” Gunnlaugsson told ruv.is.
He added that there have been disputes between the two MPs and the Left-Green leadership for some time on some of the coalition’s basic policies.
Gunnlaugsson said the Progressive Party will not help strengthen the coalition and that he would prefer to see new parliamentary elections before long.
Bjarni Benediktsson, chairman of the Independence Party, the largest opposition party and also, according to recent surveys, the country’s largest political party, agrees to Gunnlaugsson’s call for new elections.
He told RÚV’s radio station Rás 2 that too much energy has gone into an internal struggle within the government. Meanwhile, investments are way below the goal the coalition set out with and wage earners have not reclaimed their purchasing power.
“And on this journey which has been going on for two years, we have had to watch, more than once, energy being wasted on internal struggle, either between the parties which are working together or within parties as in this instance. It doesn’t really matter to me whether the government is supported by 33, 34 or 35 MPs,” he said.
Benediktsson doesn’t rule out that the Independence Party might participate in some cross-political projects for the interest of the nation. “But that means that people are bound to speed-up elections because such an arrangement is not viable for a long time.”
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